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This paper re-examines the thesis, which still persists in some quarters, that limited surface-water supplies, scarcity of through-flowing streams, a generally harsh environment, and shortage of wood for tipi poles, stakes, and fuel, because they precluded year-round occupation of the High Plains, would also have made regular seasonal residence and through-travel by pedestrians extremely difficult or impossible. A review of historic Indian occupation and natural resources, notably distribution and nature of the water supplies, suggests that seasonal residence patterns were entirely feasible for prehorse Indians, and that travel in and through the region, except in times of severe drought or winter storms, would have been practicable for experienced plainsmen, even on foot. The potential significance to archaeology of the larger perennial springs in and around the shortgrass country is noted.
It is argued that the methodology most appropriate for the task of isolating and studying processes of cultural change and evolution is one which is regional in scope and executed with the aid of research designs based on the principles of probability sampling. The various types of observational populations which archaeologists must study are discussed, together with an evaluation of the methodological differences attendant upon adequate and reliable investigation of each. Two basic sampling universes are discussed, the region and the site, together with their methodological and research-design peculiarities. These are used as a basis for discussion and past and current research programs are evaluated in terms of what are believed to be major limitations in obtaining the "facts" pertinent to studies of cultural processes.
The numerous theories that have been proposed to explain the abandonment of the San Juan and other areas by the Anasazi at the end of Pueblo III times are discussed.
The theory of the Great Drought of A.D. 1276-1299 is rejected as a total cause because the Chaco Canyon center was abandoned long before this “drought.” Drought in general is questioned because climatic data indicate that in some cases inhabitants of more favored areas migrated to less favored areas.
The theory of disastrous arroyo-cutting suffers from insufficient evidence. In addition, it does not seem to have taken place at Canyon de Chelly, and it would not have been able to affect the mesa-top farms at Mesa Verde.
The theory of Athapaskan raiders is favored by the defensive trend of Pueblo architecture. Although probably weaker militarily, the nomads could have caused abandonments by use of guerrilla tactics. Despite a lack of positive archaeological evidence, the possibility of a sufficiently early arrival of the Athapaskans is suggested by legend, glottochronology, and indirect archaeological evidence in the Largo-Gallina area.
Inter- and intra-village feuds would not cause large areas to be deserted, especially if land shortages were the cause of conflict, and the hypothesis of devastating disease fails to account for the population increases of Pueblo IV times and is not supported by historical data.
It is concluded that multiple causes will have to be cited to explain all the Pueblo abandonments but that nomadic raiders appear to be the best general explanation, given the available data.
Gravel quarrying operations in 1962 at the well-known Clovis site north of Portales in eastern New Mexico uncovered important new evidence of Early Man. In February, a total of 17 punched blades was found after being mechanically exhumed and, on the basis of inferential evidence, these blades are assigned to the Llano complex that dates back some 11,000 to 13,000 years. The term “Clovis blade” is proposed for this new artifact type, which is discussed in detail. These implements, and the recent discovery of several blade-tools associated with the remains of four mammoths now being excavated by the El Llano Archaeological Society, lead to the postulation of a blade industry for the Llano complex; and evidence which indicates the persistence of the punched-blade technique up through Agate Basin times is presented.
On the basis of technology, distribution, and apparent similarities to Upper Paleolithic blade cultures of the Old World, the classic Paleo-Indian cultures characterized by fluted points are believed to represent a unique, late Pleistocene migration that is temporally, culturally, and spatially distinct from the extremely early cultures of the Pacific coastal regions.
Check-stamped potsherds have been found at 50 sites on the Plains, and a check-stamped paddle of bone is reported from one site. These sites are found in a large area that extends from central Kansas northward into Saskatchewan and from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to eastern North Dakota. The sites have been attributed by various writers to the Blackfoot, Crow, Hidatsa, Cree, Mandan, Pawnee, Ponca, Wichita, and Kansa. In most of these sites the check-stamped potsherds have a low frequency, and only at a few Hidatsa and Mandan sites do they predominate. As all check-stamped pottery from this area is assignable to the period of A.D. 1500 to 1845, check-stamped specimens may be used as diagnostic artifacts for the late prehistoric and early historic period.
Two Peruvian textile specimens from beneath the temple of Pachacamac (Uhle Collection, University Museum, University of Pennsylvania) show the use, in conjunction with plangi-type tie-dye, of patterning which has the general appearance of tie-dye work, except for a reversal of the basic dark-light color relationship. A consideration of the different methods by which such patterning could have been produced indicates that a batik or batiklike technique probably was used. A few other specimens which appear to have been patterned by the same technique have been reported. Although the evidence is insufficient to justify definite conclusions concerning either the presence or absence of batik in pre-Columbian Peru, strong support is provided for the probability of its presence.
A heretofore little-known aspect of Tzotzil religion centers around belief in sacred mountains, the mythological origin places of patrilineal groups. The companion animals of the corresponding kin groups are distributed throughout the 13 levels of the sacred mountain according to age and status. Ceremonial relations are maintained with the “spirit world” by means of periodic pilgrimages to the tops of these mountains. There are many suggestive analogies between these contemporary Tzotzil practices and those of the ancient Maya as recorded in the Popul Vuh and The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel and as inferred from archaeological studies. The sacred mountains of the Tzotzil are suggested as functional counterparts of some of the smaller pyramids in Classic Maya archaeological sites. These ancient pyramids may have been the centers of rule of patrilineal groups which, as progressive layers were added with lineage successions, may have become centers for ancestor worship where priest-rulers were buried.
The Maya imagined both the visible and the conceptual in three-dimensional form. Thus their painters had to represent the third dimension on flat surfaces. Seven ways of showing solid form were invented: combined front and profile views, overlapping, foreshortening, “half-view,” variations in line weight, arbitrary shading, and detached contour lines. Two ways of showing spatial depth were invented: overlapping and raising the level in the composition. Pottery painters never attained perfect command of space representation. Representation of space and form in art is a product of the same kind of speculation and experimentation which produces geometry and philosophical conceptions of space. The Maya lacked the conception of dimensions and never formulated the relationship between even length and width. This restricted their arts; in painting, for example, representations of space and form could not be formulated but had to be reinvented each time they were used.
Archaeological investigations at La Playa site, 75 miles south of the international border in northern Sonora, Mexico, have yielded detailed information on the Trincheras culture. This culture, which is associated with the drainages of the Magdalena and Altar rivers, is characterized by terraced-hillside sites, rock corrals or enclosures, and a ceramic complex consisting primarily of Trincheras Purple-on-red and Trincheras Polychrome. Intrusions of Trincheras sherds into dated sites of southern Arizona indicate a date range of A.D. 800 to 1100 for the complex in its most typical form. Comparisons of the La Playa artifact assemblage with surrounding archaeological manifestations indicate close parallels with the Desert Hohokam culture of Papagueria, and on the basis of these comparisons the Trincheras culture is considered a part of this complex.
The sequence of three phases (Anathermal, Altithermal, Medithermal) of the Postglacial or Neothermal temperature curve, although demonstrably a reality, has been used improperly to determine absolute dates and past climatic conditions from archaeological deposits. A review of the historic development of the concept of the three sequent Neothermal temperature phases reveals the assumptions on which absolute dating of these phases has been based. Analysis of the variable radio-carbon dates now available for deposits attributed to these phases in a number of different localities in North America indicates that these phases cannot be considered as universal time periods bracketed by definite absolute dates; and consideration of the ecological diversity within North America at any particular time, especially in the West, indicates that climatic conditions inferred for a given span of Neothermal time in one area cannot be projected into another area without direct independent evidence of the actual climatic conditions which existed in the second area at that time. It is suggested that Anathermal, Altithermal, and Medithermal be used not as time periods with fixed absolute dates or climatic periods with defined characteristics, but rather be considered as phases of the Neothermal temperature curve which in different ecological areas resulted in locally varying climatic conditions which must be determined by direct evidence, dated by independent means, and designated by local terms.
The site of Las Madres near Galisteo, New Mexico, has yielded a provocative array of culture traits, each deviating from recognized Anasazi norms. Regional types of black-on-white sherds were encountered, accompanied by variants. Few Glaze I Red sherds appeared on the surface, but excavations revealed them in considerable quantity from top to bottom; there are fewer Glaze I Yellow and Polychrome representations. Tree-ring dates and ceramic materials indicate occupation from the late 1200's to about 1370. A transitional situation is suggested by bird bones, pottery variations, absence of formalized building plan, eclectic burial practices, and lithic artifacts. There is no evidence of direct migration of Mesa Verde people into the Galisteo region.
Collections from an unusual cave site in the Peruvian Montaña near Tingo María are placed on record along with the circumstances under which they were obtained. The ceramic materials seem to represent two components. The more common of these, designated Cave of the Owls Fine Ware, would appear to have been contemporary with Kotosh II in the Huánuco Basin and with Late Tutishcainyo of the long ceramic sequence established for Yarinacocha near Pucallpa. A date of around 200 or 300 B.C. is suggested. The other ceramics, designated Monzón Coarse Ware, show strong similarities to the later part of the Yarinacocha sequence and probably date after A.D. 1000.
A series of Paleo-Indian and Archaic projectile points with burin facets at either the proximal or distal end is described. Most of the points come from Texas. The burin facets appear to be intentional products of the burin technique, used either for the production of burins and burin spalls, or for modifying the shape of the point itself. Paleo-Indian point types with burin facets include Clovis, Cumberland, Folsom, Plainview, Meserve, Angostura, and a number of variant forms. The data suggest that the burin or the burin technique may have been widespread throughout North America during early fluted-point times.
The ring vessel (or “doughnut jar”) and the stirrup spout-handle concepts probably diffused together, not only from Peru to Mesoamerica during the pre-Classic, but also from Mesoamerica to the southwestern and eastern United States. In the Southwest they first appeared in the San Juan area around A.D. 500; later they were accepted by other Anasazi and Anasazi-influenced cultures and persisted to the historic period. The apparent interest of the early Anasazi in odd vessel shapes may account for the acceptance of these two shape concepts by the Anasazi rather than by the Hohokam or Mogollon. The ring vessels and stirrup tubes may have continued into the historic period because, unlike most of the other odd forms, these had come to be traditional in certain persisting ceremonial contexts. However, before these suggestions can be adequately evaluated, more information from the Southwest is needed, and the meanings and associations of the two forms in Mesoamerica must be analyzed.
Until land claims made the usefulness of data on their history important, excavations at modern New Mexican pueblos were prohibited by their people, whose conservatism varies only in degree from tribe to tribe. In 1961, the Taos Council agreed to permit brief trenching of their oldest refuse mound and of their ancestral ruin 200 yards to the east of the present site. Comparisons of sherd complexes indicated that the lowest levels of the Taos refuse mound picked up the types of the upper levels of the older site, which dated between A.D. 1325 or 1350 and 1450. Surface survey in the valley, checked against Taos legend, provided a history that covers an earlier period.
Complex I (Taos Black-on-white and associated types: A.D. 900-1300) saw Taos ancestors, not all of the same language, moving into the valley from the north and west in small religious society or kiva groups. Some settled north of the present Taos pueblo and others concentrated in the Ranchos de Taos-Pot Creek area. Later, they all moved together to the present area of Taos, settling on the site just east of the modern pueblo. Here they were joined by a group which came up from the Santa Fe area, introducing a variant of the Mesa Verde-derived pottery being made there. This produced Complex II, which dates after A.D. 1300. By 1450 the amalgamated tribe abandoned the site after a legendary battle and fire, sometimes erroneously attributed to Spanish incursions. They moved a few hundred feet westward to the present location of Taos Pueblo. In the succession of pottery types here, heavy-designed Tewa Polychrome is found in varying amounts from bottom to top of the refuse mound. Black-on-white ware disappeared and Taos Micaceous ware, developed between A.D. 1550 and 1600 (earlier than hitherto thought), became the dominant type. Polished Black ware, closely resembling that from the Santa Fe-Tewa area, but probably made locally, appears in Taos about 1400 and was at least as common as Taos Micaceous there during the 17th century. Taos Micaceous is the only type made today.
A human skull found in a peat deposit in Oakland County, Michigan, is dated at approximately 5000 B.C. by pollen analysis. The skull is morphologically similar to other early skeletal finds, and it is suggested that it may be classed with Neumann's Otamid variety.
Technological analysis of ceramic materials from the early phases of the Lower Mississippi area indicates that Tchula pottery is untempered, and this throws doubt upon the concept of a fiber-tempered horizon in the Southeast. Certain recommendations are made for technological studies which include the use of close-up photography during the study and in the final report.
The practice of seasonal transhumance was a central feature of the Desert culture of the western Great Basin. Ethnographic studies have provided us with considerable knowledge of the land-use and seasonal rounds of protohistoric groups such as the Kuzedika Paiute of Mono Lake, California. Archaeology carries ethnography backward in time, indicating that Paiute sites were formerly utilized by a long succession of predecessors, most of whom were generalized Desert culture gatherers who hunted on the side.
An analysis of projectile points from the Sierra piedmont indicates that Desert culture peoples ranged very high and were upland hunters at certain seasons. On the other hand, the earliest people were valley and grassland hunters. Recent discoveries of both Clovis and Folsom artifacts in the stream valleys of Nevada and California point to a pre-Desert culture way of life, with an emphasis on big meat rather than on seeds, roots, insects, and rodents. The transition from this early hunting of large, grassland herbivores to later general collecting and to seasonal transhumance appears to represent an unbroken evolution. These changes are shown by intergrading point types which constitute part of the data in this study.
In view of the demonstrated value of small-scale site replicas to archaeological field training, a full-scale experimental site was constructed and shown to be of value in training personnel in archaeological techniques and in investigating various problems of archaeological field procedure. This site, built on the Santa Barbara campus of the University of California, was excavated by student groups ranging from junior high school through college who had differing amounts of previous field experience. The effect of age and experience on recovery efficiency and depth of interpretation was studied, as well as the reactions of students to excavation of an artificial construct, and in the case of those with no previous experience, to archaeological field work in general.
In addition to that section of the site devoted to problems connected with instruction, a section was designed to investigate a series of relatively simple methodological problems. Problems of stratigraphy, seriation, and relationship between size of artifact, soil color and texture, and excavation technique were investigated, with successful results. Such a site has great utility in field instruction, where its superiority over certain natural sites can be demonstrated, and in controlled investigation of various excavation and interpretive techniques. Such a site is relatively easy to construct, and the Santa Barbara laboratory site is now a continuing project.
This paper analyzes archaeological remains from Verkholenskaia Gora in Cis-Baikal and discusses the placement of this culture in the archaeological sequence of the Baikal region. The tools are classified on the basis of manufacturing technique and technological function. The discovery of a bone arrowpoint at this site may increase the antiquity of the bow by several millennia. A comparison of the materials from Verkholenskaia Gora with materials from other regional archaeological assemblages suggests that the site was occupied at the end of the transitional period that extends from the Palaeolithic of the Mal'ta stage to the Neolithic. Verkholenskaia Gora is therefore assigned to the Siberian Mesolithic.